Laurel Demkovich

Laurel Demkovich

Demkovich joined the Washington State Standard in 2023 after almost three years as a statehouse reporter for the Spokesman-Review. She covers state government, the Legislature and all other Olympia news.

Wind turbines spin at the Arkona wind park in the Baltic Sea on June 5, 2019 off the coast of Sassnitz, Germany.

Inslee pushes for Washington to become offshore wind manufacturing hub

By: - October 11, 2023

Washington government and business leaders want manufacturers of offshore wind turbines to build equipment in the state. Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced a new effort to make Washington a preferred location for producing offshore turbine components. The Blue Wind Supply Chain Initiative is a partnership with public and private sector leaders, labor groups and […]

With federal money running out, states are scrambling to ensure families have child care.

Washington may avoid child care cliff, but many providers are still struggling

By: - October 5, 2023

Washington is unlikely to see a huge drop in child care services even as federal pandemic aid supporting providers dries up. Expiration of the funds led to nationwide concerns that millions of children could lose care. About $24 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act was distributed to states to help keep child care centers […]

Gray wolves are in Oregon and Washington.

The latest clash over managing Washington’s wolves

By: - September 23, 2023

Eleven conservation groups are asking Washington state to tighten its guidelines for when wolves that attack livestock can be killed. The groups are concerned too many wolves are dying needlessly under the current system. Their petition to Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission describes the existing standards the state uses to authorize lethal action against the […]

22 counties sue state over lack of mental health care

By: - August 24, 2023

Nearly two dozen counties in Washington state are suing the state Department of Social and Health Services, which they claim is refusing to provide essential behavioral health treatment to hundreds of patients who are considered unfit for trial. The Washington State Association of Counties, along with 22 counties, including King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane, filed […]

On Washington’s public lands, a rise in fires caused by people

By: - August 17, 2023

Fires have more than doubled so far this year on state-managed public land in Washington compared to 2022, and people are mostly to blame for the blazes. On Washington state lands, there have been 49 human-caused fires through Aug. 1, compared to 27 during that same time frame last year, according to the Department of […]

Seagulls and other birds are dying of avian flu.

Bird flu outbreak stokes fears for Washington’s wild birds

By: - August 15, 2023

The spread of bird flu has left Washington wildlife officials scrambling to test suspected cases and cleaning up hundreds of tern and gull carcasses along the coast of an island in northern Puget Sound. Avian flu has historically affected mostly poultry, but a new strain – H5N1 – is proving deadly for wild birds as […]

Washington weighs in against Idaho law restricting out-of-state abortions

By: - August 2, 2023

Washington joined nearly 20 other states this week in arguing against Idaho’s new law that makes it a crime to assist minors in seeking abortions outside the state. Attorneys General Bob Ferguson in Washington and Ellen Rosenblum in Oregon, along with attorneys general from 17 other states and the District of Columbia, filed a friend-of-the-court […]

Mount St. Helens erupts

Predicting volcanic eruptions 43 years after the Mount St. Helens blast

By: - May 18, 2023

Forty-three years ago today, Mount St. Helens erupted, triggering a magnitude 5 earthquake and spewing ash, mud and debris across southwest Washington. The explosion killed 57 people and changed the mountain’s landscape forever. The eruption wasn’t a total surprise. Months before, a series of small earthquakes and steam-venting alerted scientists that a major blast was […]